You know texture is important to interior design but not quite sure how and where to use it? Let me give you a bit of a run down and point you in the right direction…

So BIG the secret to working with textures is finding the balance that is right for you and the space, textures can really bring your design to the next level (if you get it right!!!)

Texture is a bit of a black sheep amongst the interior design elements. Its often forgot about or overlooked (sound familiar!!) but yet it can often have the most importance and impact in creating the feel of a space.

Other elements of interior design including line and colour are visual elements.. they make it look pretty! Texture is how the surface of an object feels, the surface quality, bringing in that tactile factor.. making it feel pretty (or not, depending on the project!)

If I can just clear one thing up before we go any further.. texture is different to pattern, which it is sometimes confused with. Pattern refers to a visual print, not the way it feels.

I think this fascination and interest with texture stems from nature and our connection with the earth. If you take a look outside, you are surrounded with different textures. By replicating this in our internal environment, it is comforting and also stimulating.


Every single surface has a texture, weather its rough or smooth, flat or bumpy, matt or gloss and this is important because it adds interest and depth. So when selecting finishes, ensure you think about the materials tactile sensation and what would work within the space.

Texture is particularly important when working with one colour or a monochrome scheme. You will want to choose materials that have a heavy tactile contrast to excite and intrigue.

I am sure you have all been intrigued by one texture or another at some point, I often find myself touching walls and surfaces as I explore new interiors, perhaps you find yourself doing this also???… I hope it’s not just me!!! I find there’s nothing better than squishing your toes into some luxurious plush carpet, running your hands over a gorgeous cashmere throw or admiring sexy granite benchtops.

I am also a huge fan of textures that trick the mind, textural illusions perhaps!!! Tiles that give the perception of a rough finish but are smooth to touch, wallpaper that you thought was smooth but has a surprising raised texture. I love these little un-expectancies!

So I am just going to take a guess here and say that if you are reading this blog, chances are you have also read my other blogs. Remember when we discussed Why We Love Colour a little while ago? How colours can totally change an atmosphere, set a mood or revitalise an interior? Well its much the same with textures.

smooth and shiny textures – sleek, sharp, modern feel
rough and course textures – cosy, warm and more rustic feel

Generally, the more different textures in the room, the greater the visual appeal.

Adding textures is also about light, temperature and weight. Let’s have a think about two different flooring materials for example. Sleek marble flooring reflects the light, making the space appear brighter, cooler and lighter, while a carpeted floor will absorb the light, the material will appear heavier and it will create a warm and grounded environment. Sounds simple right!?!?

Placement of textures is also important, smooth against rough, matt against gloss provide dramatic contrasts. Contrast is key to providing visual interest and to balance the design. Do you have something that you want to pop and make a feature off? Add a contrasting texture behind it.. and voilà, it gets noticed!

Here’s my top picks for a quick and easy way to inject texture into the home:

  • CUSHIONS! (dare I say it!)
  • Rugs
  • Artwork
  • Bedding/Linen
  • Throw rugs
  • Books

And for the workplace:

  • Indoor plants
  • Textural wall vinyl
  • Acoustic wall coverings
  • 3D wall panels and screens
  • Fabric partitions
  • Furniture

What do you reckon? Sound easy enough?
Don’t be afraid to give it a try, what’s the worst that could happen!!

Stefney Schultz
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